Pope Francis rejects meeting with Mike Pompeo
Published: 03:04 PM, 1 October 2020
Pope Francis; file photo
Pope Francis has declined to meet with US State Secretary Mike Pompeo during his trip to Rome on Wednesday to avoid being used as a tool for President Trump's re-election, according to Vatican officials.
The decision comes as Republicans attempt to baselessly accuse Democrats of resisting Trump's Supreme Court nominee over anti-Catholic bias.
The Vatican accused Mr Pompeo of trying to use that issue to attract voters in November's US presidential election.
Earlier this month, in an article Mr Pompeo said the Catholic Church was risking its "moral authority" by renewing an agreement with China regarding the appointment of bishops.
Donald Trump receives support from conservative religious movements, including conservative Catholic voters, some of whom think Pope Francis is too liberal.
Human rights groups say many Catholics in China are persecuted and driven underground for pledging allegiance to the Pope instead of an official Chinese Catholic association.
Despite this, in 2018 the Vatican made a deal with China to have some say over the appointment of Chinese bishops.
Source: BBC, Forbes